* Posts by Critical

20 posts • joined 2 Apr 2008

Intel takes on all Hadoop disties to rule big data munching


Animal crossing...

More of a gorilla than an elephant, shirley?

Wind-up bloke Baylis winds up broke, turns to UK gov for help


Offensive spelling...

should be "a full-blown criminal offence"

Microsoft braces for Surface RT feedback storm


Re: Looks nice, but horrible to use

I've actually been using one for the last month, and I mostly quite like it. The out-of-box experience with Office was pretty awful as you note, except that I found it was actually losing my keystrokes rather than just buffering them and being laggy. Following one of the many updates that have happened since, it got fixed and works well now.

I find Word to be the perfect fit for the device, and have used the Surface RT as a second screen for leafing through requirements docs, etc. reasonably often. The mail client still sucks like a vacuum, however - this needs sorting out next, given what I imagine their target market is.

IE works well, as do a few of the other apps. There's much work to be done still on the app front, and it obviously remains to be seen how well-adopted the platform will become with developers. I've yet to write anything for it, but it doesn't look particularly complicated.

I do like the idea of the slimline detachable keyboards. I have both the Touch and Type covers, but only really use the Type one as I can't cope with the zero-travel of the Touch. The left shift key is painfully small, but at least the nearby backslash could be remapped to operate as shift too, I suppose (regedit is still there).

My personal opinion is that it's not horrible to use, and I haven't experienced any audio problems. I'd agree that it's too expensive for what it is, however - would have wanted a built-in 3G radio at the very least.

People I've shown it to have been impressed with the screen (despite not having an insane pixel density) and keyboards. One was particularly taken with the ability to shoot a high-def video on an RX100, whip the SD card out and connect to the Surface with a normal cheap USB -> SD adapter, then just play it straight-off with no issues or faffing about - it just worked. The same can't be said of some other platforms at the moment.

I have several Android tablets and a 1st gen iPad, and understand the merits of each platform. I do think Microsoft is offering something a bit new with this, and admire the effort (if not always the execution).

Curiosity's new OS upgrade ready to go live


Not really its Operating System...

The Curiosity runs VxWorks as its OS, and the JPL's flight software runs on top of that. The application layer is being upgraded.

Skype dials onto PlayStation Vita


Launches in UK tomorrow, apparently

Nothing there on the Store today - it would have been nice to include the UK and rest of Europe availability in your article.

Google farewells apps in spring clean


Picasa for Mac *not* withdrawn

From the Google blog post: "we strongly encourage people to download Picasa 3.9 for Mac, which includes upload and iPhoto import features". This Reg article is below the usual high standard - needs editing (some missing words) and fact-checking.

Orange Tahiti 7in Android tablet


HTC Flyer has had Honeycomb for a month or more...

I bought the HTC Flyer 3G 32GB version for around £230 just before Christmas, updated it to Honeycomb (using official releases, no bodging) and it's one of the best devices I've ever owned. The 7" format is ideal for my purposes, but I never use the stylus... that's a solution looking for a problem IMHO.

Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime moniker


I imagine Asus can at least spell "champagne" correctly...

Motorola Xoom 2 10in Android tablet


(MTP && !Windows) != (up a gumtree)

There are plenty of apps / frameworks that use libmtp to support MTP on Linux / OSX

KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe


Sounds like a good match...

... for the hardware it's designed to work with. Why whinge about a quite-cheap device not having a user-replaceable battery when almost all of Apple's expensive hardware is in the same boat?

Android apps: Shifty little bleeders


You can choose not to install things...

... if you don't like the access they're requesting. In my case, I emailed the writers of Better Keyboard and asked them to explain themselves - an update to their keyboard app suddenly started requiring internet access. I obviously didn't like the potential for data (including password) leakage that offered, but was told it was due to the speech-to-text functionality they'd added. I asked if they'd consider a separate version without that, as I wouldn't be using that functionality anyway. That didn't materialise, so I don't use that app now - it wasn't good enough to justify the permissions, and how could I trust the company enough?

You need to be able to make informed decisions, which I think is the real problem - the same is true of many desktop applications, which is why I've seen so many PCs full of spyware.

Vote Lib Dem, doom humanity to extinction


Nonsense - as a science-related website you would do better to support them..

Check out http://www.geekthevote.org.uk/ and read the actual policies, or just see how respected people like Evan Harris are in the science community.

iSlate leaves fingerprints all over the net


Bizarre conclusion to draw...

"50 instances of tablet devices have been spotted downloading more than 200 applications, with the emphasis on games and media consumption rather than business apps"

Might it be more the case that software including this "Flurry" crap is more likely to be a game / media app than anything else? A more "serious" company probably wouldn't entertain the idea of spying on their users...

Microsoft predicts Linux will fail mobile 'quality' test


Where's the coherent strategy from MS, then?

Perhaps a company that forked its own proprietary code base for CE / WM functionality shouldn't offer advice and opinions on such matters. They do not have a believable story, and they don't have the benefit of market dominance in the mobile space. What they do have is a good development environment (the .NET Compact Framework), and a quite a lot of developers who can write stuff for it.

@James 47 - you obviously don't understand what real-time means. At all.

Should you lose your religion on your CV?



Since when was French "dross"? With that kind of ignorant attitude, you've certainly chosen the right career path...

Nokia to develop Intel-based pocket internet gadgets


x86-compatible architectures don't have to be power hogs...

... RDC in Taiwan have been making low-power x86-architecture CPUs for a while now, and they are actually quite impressive. You can get yourself a Bifferboard that uses one for less than 30 quid and see for yourself - 150MHz x86, ethernet, USB host, etc. all at under 1W.

Compared with the ARM instruction set and architecture in general, the x86 is an inelegant pile of crap, but don't be blinkered by thinking that small-cheap-fast can't be done with x86 - it clearly can.

LxLabs boss found hanged after vuln wipes websites


Tasteless tabloidese...

"Sensational development in VAserv megahack" == "someone has died".

Wolfram Alpha - a new kind of Fail

Thumb Down


Okay, so you wanted to write a sneering article - fine, that's obviously your genre. However, I'm not quite sure how/why you make the leap from a few biographical pieces of information about a writer being the same on both WA and Wikipedia to there having been uncredited copying.

Did you expect WA to show the guy dying on a different day, after having worked as a goat farmer in Latvia for the last six years of his life?

Beggars belief!

Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond



"The command is already supported in Microsoft's Visual C++, but according to Ullrich, native support doesn't yet seem to be available in the GCC compiler."

What's it got to do with the compiler? memcpy and friends are in glibc.

If you don't want people to call stuff insecurely, you need to train them to go about development in a considered manner. Just passing the destination size is not good enough to prevent buffer overflows, as it still relies on the programmer passing the right size.

If people aren't willing or able to think about stuff at that level, then they're better off using a higher-level language that would provide more safety anyway.

Fixing the UK's DAB disaster


DAB is fab

I agree with Mark and many of the other commenters - I'm very happy with the DAB service. Perhaps the author of the article was scarred by a 220MHz radio wave as a child?

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